Charles is Section Chief at a psychiatric hospital and a lover of all things adventure. He is glad to be alive and can't wait for tomorrow!
As the title suggests. I am sharing my personal unbiased, non political experience as seen from my perspective. I have received the first two initial injections as well as the the third booster shot of the Moderna vaccine. This is my story.
I am a 49 year old male with underlying health conditions. I am employed in the mental health care sector of state government. I am not a healthcare provider and not certified in any field of medicine. I am a facilities management specialist and charged with the daily support operations of a psychiatric hospital as a Section Chief. The hospital is located in the Northeast United States.
Experience with Coronavirus
With 400 clients and nearly 1500 staff, the role of the section chief during the initial outbreak was to assist with the creation and implementation of isolation wards, air filtration improvement, PPE procurement and distribution, cleaning and disinfecting programs, social distance visual cues and numerous other physical and procedural safeguards for the clients and staff. Working in this type of environment really allows one to fully understand the effects of the novel coronavirus. In April and May of 2020, during the initial surge in coronavirus cases, nearly 300 of the 900 nursing and direct care staff became infected with the coronavirus. Our isolation wards were holding an average of 40 clients while they recovered. These folks were kept in isolation until they were no longer contagious. On the operations side, approximately 50 of the roughly 300 indirect care support staff were infected within the first 30-60 days.
In the beginning, masks par stock was an issue. The hospital had a baseline of masks in stock for a pre-pandemic environment. I assume this was the case at most hospitals across America. Support Services staff were reduced to 50% and switched to a rotating schedule to limit the amount of staff on the grounds at once. Social distancing was implemented in areas that folks were likely to congregate and staff that were able to work from home were asked to stay home.
Peaks and Valleys
While the world waited for a vaccine or treatment for Covid 19, the first year of the pandemic was a series of peaks and valleys. In the first year, a mask mandate was instituted at our facility and our daily cases began to fall drastically. There were definitely visible, measurable results to be seen once 100% of the staff were wearing a mask, being tested weekly, and practicing social distancing while at work. This is something I personally witnessed. You could look at this facility as a kind of micro community and from my observations, things improved drastically within the facility as a result of the protective measures that were put into place.
Because the majority of political views I line up with seem to be Republican, I guess I am a conservative. I'm also one that relies highly on common sense. I totally understand the "freedom" concept pushed by the media and other Republicans and I understand the Democratic position of "masks protect everyone's heath". Personally, I do what I think is right regardless of what anyone else thinks. Politics is just white noise that I am able tune out.
After much debate and personal research, I decided to get the Moderna vaccine. The main reason I chose Moderna was that it was the only vaccine offered at my facility. The first dose was like any other vaccine. I can't lie, the stress and anxiety of potentially having a vaccine injected into my body that was rushed to market was a hard pill to swallow. I wasn't really sure of what to expect. I weighed my personal health risks and at the time. Studies showed that some folks contracting Covid 19 would either most certainly die, have long lasting symptoms, or have almost no symptoms at all and be fine. The risks associated with taking the Moderna vaccine were significantly less than the risks associated with contracting coronavirus for folks like me with underlying medical conditions. It was as simple as that.
Initial Moderna Vaccine
My appointment came faster than expected. With much trepidation, I walked to the registration table in the vaccine center. I scanned the room, carefully watching the people that had just received the vaccine. I was looking for adverse effects, extra arms growing out of their heads, or if they were going to suddenly drop dead on the spot. Anything. I would have run for the door at the slightest hint of an issue. Alas, nothing extraordinary happened. After providing my insurance information, I was shuffled off to the next station. I received the vaccination in my left arm. A band-aid was placed over the injection site and I was provided with a list of potential side effects to look for and told to come back in two weeks for the second dose. I think I waited 15 minutes for observation and was allowed to leave after experiencing no Ill effects.
Like I mentioned earlier, I experienced no Ill effects immediately after the injection. Within several hours, the injection site was sore. Sort of like someone punched me in my arm. No biggie. Around bedtime, this was about 8 hours after the vaccine. I felt extremely tired and went to bed around 9PM. I awoke at 1AM with chills and it felt like the back of my throat was itchy. Kind of like the feeling I would get before the onset of the common cold. I bundled up and went back to sleep. I woke up at 6AM feeling fine, no itchy throat, so symptoms of anything.
Follow up Moderna Vaccine Second Dose
After receiving my second dose of the Moderna vaccine, it was basically just like the first dose. This second dose however came with increased injection site pain. Much worse than the last one and seemed to last longer. The fatigue was worse and included a minor headache. I took a couple of Tylenol and went to bed around 8 PM that night. After sleeping 8 hours, I awoke fresh and well rested with no Ill effects other than pain at the injection site that lasted until 12 PM.
It has been nine months since my initial vaccination with the Moderna vaccine. I have experienced no Ill effects and seem to be in good health. I scheduled an appointment for Friday November 5, 2021 for the Moderna Booster. I was in and out of the vaccine center in about 20 minutes. The doctor asked if I had any severe reactions after my initial vaccination and I explained the symptoms I experienced as I did above. I received the booster and headed home. More of the same, minor injection site pain. Mild fatigue at dinner time. I experienced no other symptoms to speak of. I slept normally and awoke after 8 hours with no Ill effects.
I hope the real world information I've provided will help folks that are feeling apprehensive about the vaccine. Maybe this article will even elicit a few laughs. That's fine too. Thank you for giving my opinionated article a read, I will surely appreciate the comments and debate this may spark. Have a great day.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.